Danny The Dog DVD Review
PictureDanny The Dog is presented in a bleak 2.35:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer. When I say bleak, however, I qualify that remark with the fact that it was intentionally filmed in such a way. The colour seems completely drained out of the proceedings, with Scotland looking as if it has never seen a ray of sunlight. The detail is reasonable, with good clarity for some of the fight scenes but noticeable edge enhancement during some sequences and a light layer of grain popping up now and again. The contrast is quite poor, but again this probably comes back to that intentional bleakness - also the reason why the colour scheme is limited to an almost monochromic palette. Still, it suits the movie for the most part and there is no noticeable print damage.
SoundThe main audio track is a superb Dolby Digital 5.1 effort that permeates your living room right from the opening credits, keeping you entranced by the proceedings throughout. It maintains full use of the surrounds, giving us the brilliant score - by Massive Attack - in all its glory, all around you. The score is perfectly tuned to every change in mood and every different scene, sombre and reflective during the quieter moments but fast and frantic for the fight sequences. It also gives you just enough bass you get your heart thumping. Dialogue is presented clearly from the frontal array and the sound-effects, from gunshots to the thundering blows, offer decent directionality across the room. It is one of the most lively, smothering martial arts action-movie tracks that I have ever come across. We also get an inferior English Dolby Digital 2.0 track for completeness.
ExtrasThere are no extra features on this edition, although there is a 2-disc edition available on Region 3 or a Region 1 edition with several special features. It should be noted that the deleted footage present on the Region 1 edition may be misleading as I suspect that it is merely the footage cut out of the European version of the film to make the shorter U.S. version. Since this is the European cut, we have that footage anyway in the film itself.
VerdictDanny The Dog is one of the best Western Jet Li movies I have encountered, with awesome bone-crunching fight scenes and a reasonable plot stringing it all together. Still, when all is said and done, there is little more on offer here than just a collection of admittedly entertaining fights. I am still waiting for Li to get a Western role to parallel some of his decent Asian efforts like Hero. The video presentation is a bit disappointing, but since the film is intentionally bleak anyway you can overlook that and enjoy the stand-out audio track that will bring your living room to life. This edition is shamefully lacking in extras but at least we get the full European cut. Li fans will simply have to buy it, martial arts aficionados will also be tempted but for anybody else it's a rental only.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £9.29
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